Iman Shumpert Reportedly Traded to Kings in Massive Cavs, Jazz Blockbuster DealFebruary 8, 2018
The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly traded shooting guard Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday as part of a massive trade that also featured Joe Johnson going to Sacramento, Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose heading to the Utah Jazz and George Hill to the Cavs.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the news ahead of the 3 p.m. trade deadline. Wojnarowski also provided full details of the blockbuster.
Shumpert tried to find a niche for himself in Cleveland over the past couple of seasons, but it's always represented a shaky fit. While he's a potent defensive weapon at times, he needs the ball to make a major impact offensively, and that wasn't going to happen consistently with the star-studded Cavs.
He averaged 7.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 36 percent from three-point range across 76 games during the 2016-17 campaign.
His numbers dropped to 4.4 points, 2.9 boards and 1.2 dimes per game in 14 appearances this season, and he underwent knee surgery in December.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving led the charge before the latter's trade to the Boston Celtics, and the roster also boasted a variety of depth pieces that helped the team capture the NBA title in 2016.
That didn't leave the 27-year-old Georgia Tech product with enough shots to match his best production during his time with the New York Knicks.
Matthew Florjancic of WKYC passed along comments from Shumpert leading up to the 2016 trade deadline about trying to make himself an asset in Cleveland.
"It's about getting in a mindset. I'm on a team where I really don't have any scoring responsibility because we have that many weapons," he said. "There's games where I might shoot the ball twice and we win by 20. Sometimes, it's about me coming out more aggressive, making things happen defensively, getting rebounds and creating my own energy."
Shumpert's contract represented a hurdle when it came to making a deal. He signed a four-year, $40 million extension before the 2015-16 campaign with a cap hit that will rise to just over $11 million if his player option is picked up for next season, according to Spotrac.
Heading to the Kings is an interesting fit for Shumpert. While Sacramento does lack star power in the backcourt, it features plenty of depth. He must outplay the likes of De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Frank Mason III to earn regular minutes when everybody is healthy.
He'll need to make a strong start. Sacramento is likely to continue experimenting with several different lineup combinations until something clicks. The team's newest addition could become a key part of the plan, but his streaky nature leaves that far from certain.
In the end, Shumpert and the Cavaliers weren't a perfect match. Making the trade now prevents what could have become a frustrating contract for both the player and the team.